Thank you so much for continuing to follow this blog – I know there hasn’t been much on it for a while but as most of you will be aware I’m now a reporter for Girlracer magazine which, alongside contributing to EnterF1 and my full-time job, takes up quite an amount of time!
I’ll still be posting regularly on Twitter on a variety of Motorsports and of course you can check out my features on the sites above but there may not be much more added on here for the foreseeable future!
Q&A WITH SAM MICHAEL, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR
Q: It was a pretty chaotic Australian Grand Prix. What are your thoughts on Rubens’ eighth place?
SM: It was good to get some more points on the board, but we still have a lot of work to do to improve in all areas.
Q: Rubens was the only driver to fit the hard tyre at his second pit stop. Why did he do this, and did it cost him lap time?
SM: We discussed it as a team and took the decision together. In hindsight, however, it probably wasn’t the correct choice and we should have run the option tyre.
Q: Nico was taken out by Kobayashi on the opening lap. Prior to that, had you seen him take a step forward from Bahrain?
SM: Nico is a fast driver. He’s still finding his feet as this is only his first season in Formula One. He’s smart, and he knows what he has to do. I have 100% confidence in him delivering for the team.
Q: The team experimented with a new shark engine cover during Friday’s practice. Was it a step forward?
SM: We tested an extended engine cover fin but we didn’t like the results it gave during practice so we reverted back to the standard bodywork for qualifying and the race. We haven’t abandoned it; we will probably run it again at a race in the near future.
Q: Did either FW32 experience any reliability issues during the weekend?
SM: We had one problem during the Saturday morning practice session on Nico’s car. Apart from that, there were no reliability issues.
Q: There was significantly more overtaking in Australia than there was in Bahrain, even when the track was dry. Why do you think that was the case?
SM: I think the fact that the start of the race was wet certainly helped. There were also some cars that were out of their normal performance positions as well (like Hamilton, Webber and Alonso), which helped shake things up a bit.
Q: Looking ahead to Malaysia next weekend, what are your hopes for AT&T Williams?
SM: We need to get both cars into the top ten in qualifying, that’s our key target.
Interview kindly conducted by staff from AT&T Williams
The F1 season kicked off in style today – Don’t forget you can follow my updates on Twitter (@motorsport bts) and read my articles on www.enterf1.com throughout the season, I’m also writing on BTCC at www.girlracer.co.uk and v.much looking forward to that season starting in April.
In the meantime please also check out the latest addition to the F1 media, www.pitlanemagazine.com The site launches tomorrow at 11am and promises to be full of just the kind of juicy content you, my loyal readers, love. You can also follow them on the Tweet flow @pitlanemagazine for even more info!
Enjoy the new season and don’t forget if your job involves motorsport in any way shape or form and you’re interested in doing an interview drop me a line!
It seems Carl Edwards has been a naughty boy. His on-track shenanigans with Brad Keselowski have led to serious off-track debate, with many fans feeling he should be punished by officials. A few years ago this may also have been the case but whilst talk will have gone on outside the Atlanta Motor Speedway about the action it would likely have been forgotten come Monday morning; that’s now no longer an option.
Facebook, Twitter and blogs (alongside Google who recently started including each of these in search results) mean that opinions can be spread like wild-fire, they gather support, they may become large enough to be of interest to the sports press and suddenly the opinions are being broadcast, gathering strength and forcing the hands of the decision-makers. Sweeping incidents under the carpet and moving on is no longer an option…
Don’t get me wrong I think it’s great every now has a chance to be heard but have they reached the ears of officials and will the public pressure force them into a decision that at one point would not have been made.
I think in future we’re going to see decisions in motorsport having to be backed up by clear arguments, thought processes and rules – whether the decision goes the way the public majority want or not. Will this in turn force drivers and teams to be more conservative and will the sports we love then lose some of their appeal? Or transparency always the best option? Are fans more bothered with the eventual outcome than by how the decision was made?
One more question, given that NASCAR and other motorsports are ‘driven’ (couldn’t resist!) by sponsors do the teams and officials have an obligation to consider the fans reaction when making decisions? Should the public have a voice at the table?
As always let me know your thoughts!
It feels like a lifetime but at long last motorsport returns to our screen this weekend with the NASCAR Budweiser Shootout – live from Daytona Florida!
It’s a new season but unfortunately it may not be a fresh start as an old feud once again rears its head. It seems that incidents in Texas last November are still playing on champion Jimmie Johnson’s mind and he’s still smarting over a lack of apology from ‘bump-happy’ Sam Hornish Jnr.
Despite going on to secure the championship Johnson suffered a setback that could have cost him everything so is he perfectly justified in wanting an apology from Hornish Jnr? As a champion and therefore brand ambassador, should he be more willing to say ‘that’s behind us now’ especially given that the real culprit was David Reutimann? Could we expect to see the same in F1 which, when we least left it, had a similar argument ongoing between Trulli and Sutil?
When it comes to feuding drivers is it soo 2009 or soo ON? Let me know you thoughts!
There are a few things that will be big in 2010 – shoulder pads and F1 grid line-ups to name a few. Another trend set to rule big in 2010 is location-based tracking (fans of FourSquare will know what I mean). For those of you sans iPhone location-based tracking means you can find users within a certain distance of any given area to connect with. Apart from FourSqaure applications like Locify and Latitude can also help.
In honour of this trend I decided to do a little digging around for some location-based stats for 2009 and I came up with this…
Whilst certain expectations proved correct – Spain were Renault mad and Force India did well in (come on it’s not that difficult to guess!) one team managed to top the stats in pretty much all countries…yep Ferrari managed to prance its way into the hearts of fans around the world.
It does seem however that the UK and Japan are the most diverse bunch when it comes to who they support, or at least who they search for. Each team (minus Ferrari) had a roughly equal amount of support, showing just what a diverse bunch we are and no doubt making bosses at Silverstone and Suzuka confident of filling seats over the race weekend – equal banner arrangement however may prove a little more difficult!
This weekend sees the start of the new WRC season, and the reappearance of one of motorsport’s biggest characters – move over Dancing on Ice man (anyone else irritated by the Boyzone bloke using the nickname?!) because on January 29th the original ‘Iceman’ is back!
Yes, Kimi Raikkonen will be racing again as he makes his debut for Citroën at the Artic Lapland Rally. If this sounds familiar it’s probably because it is – the rally is where Raikkonen made his impressive debut in (and arguably just as impressive exit from) rallying in 2009.
Partnering Kaj Lindström in a C4, even the Ice-cool Finn must be feeling some pressure. The event is traditionally seen as a practice for the real start of the WRC 2010 season a week later and it’ll be Kimi’s first opportunity to truly show he can cut it in another class.
Personally I’m looking forward to the media interviews before and after just as much as I am the race. Kimi had, at the same time, one of the most-laidback and yet guarded personalities in the F1 paddock. Will this persona follow him to WRC or will we see more interaction? Has the 2007 champion found his true niche in WRC or will a little of him always prefer driving solo with his wheels a little closer to the ground?
Let me know your thoughts!